Unfortunately, things did not progress as Xia Ling hoped. When they released the selection list for the MV filming, her name was top of the list.
Xia Ling gaped in astonishment together with everybody else in the training camp, with the exception of Luo Luo who was busy being happy for her.
Some suspected that it was unfair selection through behind-the-scenes means, and kicked up a fuss in Tan Ying’s office. Tan Ying simply threw them a single sentence. “Wei Shaoyin personally picked her. If you want to kick up a fuss, go look for Wei Shaoyin.”
It was only then that Xia Ling found out that the man wearing Patek Philippe that day was Wei Shaoyin—Skyart Entertainment’s chief music producer. In the entertainment industry, he was on par with Feng Kun, her exclusive producer in her past life. Together, they were regarded as the two gems of the industry.
Apparently, he was in charge of producing Shen Manyao’s new song and MV.
Xia Ling was baffled. Wei Shaoyin was extremely expensive to hire, many A-listers were unable to hire him to produce their songs. Why was he willing to produce for a second-rate female singer? Not only so, but his musical style was also renowned to be graceful and slow, completely different from Shen Manyao’s seductive, glamorous style. How did these two opposite poles get entwined in the same picture?
Yet, this solved the mystery of Xia Ling being selected. Everyone had chosen to dance glamorously, why did she choose to dance gracefully? However, she was still confused. Even if she had chosen the right style to dance, her dancing was still mediocre at the very best. It seemed highly unlikely that Wei Shaoyin, who was typically known to be picky and selective, would be impressed.
No one dared to question Wei Shaoyin. Hence, all the anger in the training camp was redirected at Xia Ling.
Everyone agreed that there were many others in the camp who were able to dance the graceful steps better than Xia Ling, she was simply lucky this time. Those who failed to be selected called her despicable behind her back. Even those who were chosen would openly declare that they did not care to be in the same team as her as if this would make them appear to have the moral high ground.
Xia Ling ignored all these rumblings.
Until a particular incident.
On that day, Xia Ling went to the cultural classroom for her lesson as per normal. There, she found that someone had poured an entire bottle of ink on her table. The table, chair, and floor were a mess. Everyone in the classroom was watching her, waiting to see what she would do.
She took a took breath and asked, “Who did this? Own up now.”
Some sneered. “Ye Xingling, aren’t you a prophet? Try guessing who did this since you were so accurate in guessing who the examiner would be.”
Xia Ling gave a cold smile, “You were not good enough to be selected so you decided to do something like this in secret.” Pausing, she added, “A bunch of good-for-nothings.” In her past life, according to her sister Xia Yu, this arrogant attitude of hers was the most hateful. Indeed, she saw an immediate effect.
As expected, someone stood up opposite her, saying angrily, “What did you say?!”
“Ha, am I wrong?”
“Ye Xingling, stop being so cocky. Lu Tao was also selected this time, and he was third place in the examination. That’s much better than your 20th place!” Someone shouted out at her.
Lu Tao, her classmate, was looking at her cross-armed across the classroom.
She looked over at Lu Tao and asked, “You did this?”
Lu Tao had a handsome face, sporting a crew cut. He had on a tight-fitting singlet top with a pair of loose-fitted trousers. Chains adorned his wrists and neck, giving off a clear street, hip-hop vibe. He was leaning nonchalantly by the classroom door, provocatively watching her. “So what if it was my idea?”
“Very good.” She would make him responsible for his actions, thus she laughed and said, “You think you are great, don’t you? Do you dare have a battle with me?”
“What battle?” Lu Tao seemed to not expect Xia Ling to make such a proposition and asked, his interest piqued.
“Since you think I got chosen for the MV by luck and that my dancing will not hold its own, let’s do a dance battle.” Xia Ling calmly replied. With the bullying getting this serious, if she did not do something to show the others, wouldn’t everyone think she was a pushover? Even if she didn’t want to draw attention to herself, she had no choice this time but to retaliate.
Lu Tao and the trainees standing around laughed as if they had heard a big joke. “You’re kidding, right? You want to have a dance battle with Brother Lu? Brother Lu will send you crawling with just a few simple moves! Hahahahah…”
As they spoke, everyone laughed out loud.
Xia Ling was unfazed. Staring straight at Lu Tao, she taunted. “Are you afraid?”
Lu Tao smirked as he walked over from beside the door and retorted. “What do I have to be afraid of? You started this, I’ll just play along with you.”
“Let’s battle it out with the windmill, your best dance move.” The windmill was a variation of the Thomas rotation, a dance move that was highly challenging and break dancers would use it as their signature move. She did not have to purposefully find out that this move was Lu Tao’s favorite as he was not shy about bragging about it in class. It would be difficult for her to not know.
Lu Tao looked at her in shock, as did the others.
“Are you kidding me… Ye Xingling, you’re a girl and your main focus is not street dance. Let’s not talk about the windmill, even a normal spin, how many can you do?” A classmate standing beside Lu Tao advised her as if speaking to a moron. “Don’t push it if you haven’t tried. If you break an arm or a leg don’t go crying to the coaches.”
“I take responsibility for my own actions.” Xia Ling was still staring at Lu Tao. “Let’s battle it out to see who can do more rounds of the windmill. If you lose, kneel and apologize to me. If I lose, you pick whatever you want to do with me.”
“Kneel and apologize?” Lu Tao, who was initially hesitating, laughed in agitation. “Ye Xingling, I was going to advise you to give up since many people get injured doing the windmill. If you are not careful, perhaps you’ll even be paralyzed for life… Well, since you want to court death.” Lu Tao pointed straight at her and arrogantly said, “Okay, if I lose, I’ll kneel and apologize to you. If you lose, get out of this training camp!”
Xia Ling laughed lightly. “Deal.”
Lu Tao did not think that she would agree to these terms and was visibly startled. If one were to leave Skyart Entertainment’s training camp, there were no second chances. Not only would her entire year of training be wasted, but she also might never be able to return to the entertainment circle. However, what was done was done, all he could do was snigger, turn and walk towards the dance studio.
Xia Ling retrieved her dancewear and followed.
There were several trainees practicing in the dance studio, but they readily gave up the room upon hearing that there was going to be a dance battle and joined the crowd that had entered to watch. Xia Ling changed into her dancewear and started warming up across Lu Tao in the middle of the dance floor.
The crowd of onlookers started getting bigger and Xia Ling could hear them talking to each other—
“Is that Ye Xingling? The one that got selected for the MV by sheer luck?”
“She wants to compete on the windmill with Lu Tao? Is she mad, even if Lu Tao were to give her a handicap of 30 rounds she would still not be able to match up.”
“Exactly, isn’t she courting death? I heard that before Lu Tao was selected to join our training camp he was already the champion of the national breakdance competition…”
“Let’s bet on it…”